Miami has a new soccer player in town. His name is Lionel Messi. Some say he is the greatest soccer player of all time. But it hasn’t always been easy for him.
Growing up in Argentina, Messi was always a small child. He dreamed of being a professional soccer player. Doctors realized he had a medical condition. He would not grow to full size without treatment. The treatment was expensive. His family could not afford it. A soccer team in Europe would pay for it.
Lionel Messi moved to Barcelona, Spain. He was 13 years old. At first, he was very homesick. He stayed very quiet. Some of his teammates weren’t sure he could even talk. His family asked if he wanted to go back to Argentina. Messi decided to stay. He was successful with Barcelona FC. He became a professional soccer player. His team won many championships. But there was still one thing he could not win. It was the World Cup.
Lionel Messi wanted to win the World Cup with Argentina. World Cups only happen every four years. Messi played in his first World Cup for Argentina in 2006. He lost again in 2010, 2014, and 2018. After the 2018 World Cup, Messi was 31 years old. Most players retire at that age. People believed Lionel Messi’s dream was over. But Messi came back in the 2022 World Cup. He was 35 years old. It was one last chance. Lionel Messi promised Argentina’s fans he would not let them down. He scored many goals. Argentina did not lose again. They won the World Cup! It took 16 years of trying. Messi had finally reached his dream.
Now, Lionel Messi is looking at a new challenge. He is playing for Inter Miami CF in Major League Soccer. He wants to make soccer more popular in the United States.
What Do You Think? What challenges have you faced in your life? How did you respond to them?
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